US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has refused to rule out using a nuclear weapon in Europe, saying he will not “take any cards off the table.”
In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, Trump argued that if the United States was not willing to use an atomic bomb, then “why are we making them?”
“I would be very, very slow to pull that trigger,” the celebrity businessman said. “[But] if someone hits us with a nuke, you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?”
“First of all, you don’t want to say take everything off the table because you would be a bad negotiator if you do that,” Trump noted.
When asked whether he could assure the Middle East that the US will not use nuclear weapons, Trump answered, “I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off the table.”
The Republican frontrunner was then asked the same question about Europe. “I’m not going to take it off the table for anybody,” Trump stressed.
Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversy from the beginning, with disparaging remarks about immigrants, Muslims and women.
At the same town hall event on Wednesday, Trump came under fire for comments he earlier made about abortion.
The reality TV star backpedaled from his call for some kind of punishment for women who illegally terminate their pregnancies, saying he would hope to see abortion-clinic doctors and other medical personnel prosecuted.
Last year, Trump created a firestorm by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. The GOP contender has also said he would reverse a ban on the use of waterboarding, a torture method that simulates drowning.